Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bye bye 2011...

I don't hate you. You gave me so much. You taught me lessons about myself and others and you gave me a whole new outlook on life. For the 1st time in a long time, I do not say goodbye to the year with a sense of relief and expectation for the next year to be better. It's not about getting better. It's about how I deal with what happens.

I learned to be grateful for all of it...not just the good stuff but the bad stuff,too. It's true what they say about good things coming out of the bad things...maybe not how we want it to but even a tough lesson can be a positive.

I started focusing on other people instead of my problems. I re-learned that a little kindness goes a long way. Treat others with kindness and you WILL get it back 10 fold. Maybe not from the same people but it's there. Life seems so much easier even though it is probably getting more complicated. Somehow I feel like it will all work out, though. I think they call that faith and it's something I lost for a long time. I feel more like myself than I have in years and I am sure the people around me have noticed it,too.

I look forward to 2012 in a new way. I welcome the challenges along with the joy. I am hoping that 2012 will bring us our baby or at least get us close to being parents. I look forward to working on my relationships...all of them and to continue being as kind and nurturing as possible. I also plan on having a little fun!

Wishing you all a very happy new year. May you be blessed with happiness, good health and prosperity beyond your wildest dreams.



Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Jumping through the window

You know how the saying goes....When God closes a door he opens a window. The door has definitely closed on us having a biological child. The past month or so H and I have taken a step back and we have happily come to the conclusion that adoption really is the best path for us.

We have spent the last 6 weeks or so doing some research on agencies. We've called, we've checked references, we've even met with couples from the 2 agencies we are interested in. This was all going on while I was trying to get my Christmas baking, pirogi making, gift shopping and card sending done. It's no excuse but I do apologize for not keeping you better informed.

I also wanted to wait until I had some news to share :) We have chosen an agency and we are looking to register by the end of January! We have started making lists of our finances and old addresses and I have ordered the multiple copies of my birth cert.that the agency needs from across the country. It's going to be a lot of work but so worth it.

We are both proud and excited to be building our family through domestic infant adoption. I will probably be starting a new blog....perhaps you will join me. Don't worry-when I move I'll leave you my forwarding address.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A sign of the times

I went shopping last Saturday. I figured it was my last weekend to beat the crowds. I am a really savvy shopper-it's like a sport to me but I don't enjoy the manic feel of shopping during the Christmas season. (with the exception of Black Friday-the deals are too,too tempting!)I ended up at the Benefit counter at Macy's. I wanted to buy a bottle of "Maybe Baby". Yep, it's a perfume. Yep, I am aware of the irony but I just love the scent. I had a sample last year and I kept meaning to buy some but I never made it to the counter..... until Saturday.

I was anxious to get on with my shopping trip-I wanted a new outfit for Thanksgiving but another customer was being helped around the corner. She seemed to be buying the entire line and I am not rude enough to interrupt so I decided to come back later. Before I had the chance to walk away, the customer started speaking and I recognized the voice so I peeked around the corner and saw a familiar face. You probably won't believe me when I tell you but it was a lady from the adoption fair we went to the week before. Not only that, but she works for the agency that has been presenting itself to me for the last few years. She looked at me and said "hello" with a smile like she recognized me, too but I didn't stop to chat. It sounds odd but seeing her kind of sealed the deal for us. We have looked at a few different agencies, but I can't ignore the fact that I keep hearing about this agency. As a matter of fact, I'm seeing a friend of a friend next week to talk about the same agency. That makes 2 acquaintances and 1 stranger who have walked into my life with lots of positive things to say about their experiences at said agency. How can I ignore that? It's like the universe is screaming at me. More than that, whenever I get overwhelmed or if I begin to think it's not possible, something or someone is there to give me the proverbial "little push". Usually towards "that agency".

I feel like the decision is being made for me :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Fair to remember....

If you know me, you know I don't like to venture out on a work night. Dinner out-fine, hanging out with friends-ok but meetings or classes or anything that requires me to use my brain is usually off limits. I like to unwind after dinner and get to bed before 10. (The alarm goes off at 5:30 and T-fire starts shortly after. I need to get enough sleep so I can kickbox those calories away.)

However, last Monday night, I was actually looking forward to leaving the house to attend an adoption fair held by a local adoption support organization. There were lots of agencies in attendance representing every type of adoption from domestic infant to foster to international along with a few lawyers,adoptive parents and social workers. H and I got quite the education. We basically learned that we have a LOT to learn. We spoke to 5 different agencies and crossed 2 off of our list right away. We are still investigating the other 3...I plan to ask for references good and bad and I also joined the support organization. We made some great connections...with agency staff and with members of the support organization. I'm looking forward to attnding some of their seminars and speaking with others in similar situations.

H is starting to understand the process a bit better - he definitely knows that he likes the agencies where you don't have to pay for everything up front. It's a bit overwhelming because unlike fertility clinics, all adoption agencies do not charge the same way. Some want you to pay up front and you lose your money if the birth mother backs out. Some don't penalize you if the birth mother changes her mind but you might have a longer wait or they might charge more overall. Like IVF, it's more gambling but with better odds. You have to decide how much risk you are going to take and how broad you want your requirements to be.

Keep in mind that we are just beginning the process so I apologize if this sounds too simplistic. And if I touched on everything, you would get confused and I'd probably lose you because the material is kind of dry. There are just so many decisions to make and there is so much work to be done. I was hoping for a little break in making life altering decisions that I have to wrestle with for days and reach deep into my heart to find the answers to but I guess that's life.

All in all, I am so thankful we attended and so grateful to my friend N for letting me know. I wanted to pay it forward and help one of my friends so I told her. H & I had fun hanging out with them and laughing about our IVF escapades. I think that made H feel better too, knowing that there are real people out there who are struggling with the same stuff that we are. It can be very isolating.

So, to recap....we are going to take the next month or so to ask some more questions of the agencies we are interested in and hopefully, we will make a decision after the holidays. We are hoping to sign with an agency very early next year. In the meantime, the planner in me has started writing a bio for our adoption profile.

Always trying to be one step ahead.....

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Just what the Dr. ordered

For once, it seems like I am on the right track with where this runaway train is headed. I've cycled with my own eggs 7 times and once with donor sperm. I've toyed with the idea of using donor eggs and I've convinced myself that I was pregnant from good old fashioned sex so many times in the past 6 years. Clearly, medical intervention is not working for us.

I was not expecting much going into this WTF. I expected to get AMA speech and for the RE to criticize my old eggs. I thought he would push for us to do a DE cycle so he could get more of our money. He actually told us that he had no advice for us. He only gave us a 40% shot with DE and he told us that adoption was more like 99%. He really seemed to be pushing us towards adoption. He mentioned it more than one point, he even said that he would work with us no matter what but that I have already had my fair share of cycles and various outcomes and that stopping now would not be anything less than noble. His attitude may have bothered me if I wasn't dead set against any more treatments.

I mean, my body has had it and I am so tired of riding the roller coaster of hope. In the past month alone, I have seen 2 (online) acquaintances have 2nd tri miscarriages (one of them was DE)and another who was just diagnosed with colon cancer. Yet another died of a brain tumor right around her triplets 1st birthday. Between the remicade and all the hormones I've taken, cancer is a very real possibility for me. This is where I look at the big picture and cut my losses. I know you have already listened to me give my reasons for giving up on getting pregnant so I'll stop here.

I was in the right place at the right time...adoption has been on my mind and H's...we are on the same page...the same paragraph right now and that is pretty rare when it comes to building our family. The RE basically admitted he doesn't know what to do with me or how to tell me to proceed. There's my final sign. I'm closing the books on ART. It did not help me...I may be worse off....lost babies are worse than no babies for me and cancer is a very legit thing for me to be scared of.

A very good friend sent me a flyer about an adoption fair next week (thanks, N!)and H and I are planning on going. With friends like N and all the other family and friends who are going out of their way to help me and my husband with the adoption process, I feel like we just can't lose. And that is just what the Dr. ordered.... for me, for H, for our relationship and for our future.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sign me up

I'm always looking for confirmation that I'm doing the right thing. I know that there are no guarantees in life but the kinds of decisions I have had to make in the past 15 years or so have been big, life changing types of decisions and I like to know that I am on the right path. I know I've posted about signs before but the things that have happened to me the past few weeks are like nothing I have ever felt... my head and my heart are in tune and this make me...makes us (H is even a believer) think that it's still possible for us to become parents...through adoption. As promised, here's the scoop:

The night before my appt. for my baseline blood work and u/s for IVF #7, I attended a "Girls Night In" event that one of my friends holds on a monthly basis. After attending for about a year, I thought I had met just about everyone on the monthly guest list but there was woman there who I hadn't met yet and she had recently brought her little boy home after waiting for nearly 2 years. She happened to use the very same adoption agency that the couple in the restaurant used all those years ago. She was very open about the process and made me feel so comfortable about pursuing adoption. After talking with her in depth, it really seemed like adoption might actually be affordable and not as daunting as I had originally thought. I still didn't mention anything to H but I was certainly mulling it over. She has offered to help me and we are going to meet next week to talk specifics.

~CYCLE #7 happens~ AKA my last shot

Two days after my negative pregnancy test, H came home from work and told me about a guy at work that approached him. He overheard H talking to me on the phone and he knows we have been trying for the past 6 years or so. He did not want to pry but he told H that he and his wife couldn't have kids and that they adopted. He told H that it is not as expensive or as difficult to navigate as people think. He offered to talk to H about it if and when he was ready. H came home that day and told me that we can adopt. H is struggling a little bit with how to parent an adopted child and how to discuss that particular path to parenthood with our future child. After a few beers at lunch one day with the guy from his office, he's starting to get quite comfortable with the idea. H was never really in love with the idea of adoption....mostly because of the money and bureaucracy so for him to agree to adopting was huge.

The very next day, my sis emailed me. She had no idea if I was interested in what she had to say or not but she said she loved me and she didn't want to see me give up. She told me about her friend from high school (who had just found her on FB.) It seems as though this girl had just signed with an adoption agency (nope,not the same one) and she was willing to help me and answer any questions I might have. People seemed to be coming out of the woodwork to guide us along this journey.

While shopping with my other sis, I decided to share the news about this next chapter of our lives. We happened to be talking about the woman I met at GNI and how she used the same adoption agency as the woman from the restaurant. A few minutes later I was shocked to see her in the front of one of the stores at the mall. I had no idea she worked there....apparently it's only like once a month. What are the odds? My sis and I were planning on shopping at another mall but changed our minds at the last minute. I got chills and knew it had to be some kind of sign. My sister said that it was basically God hitting me upside the head and that I need to pay attention and take action. I've had signs before...all throughout my IVF years but this feels different. It feels like doors and windows are opening up everywhere I look and I know it won't be easy..... but it feels like it will be.

Since then, every time I have any kind of doubt...about the expense or about the baby being taken back by his or her birth mother (you name it, I've freaked about it)something happens to calm my fears. Once, it was the movie "Like Dandelion Dust" showing on my (occasional)Friday night LMN movie night. If you haven't seen it, it's about a birth mother who starts the process of taking her child back from his adoptive parents.

*******SPOILER ALERT*******

In the end, the birth mother realizes that the child is better off with his adoptive parents.

Another day, I was worrying about bonding with my adopted child and the host of the talk radio show I listen to on the way home had a lot to say about adoption and the relationship he has with his adoptive parents. He started talking about it the week that apple guy died (since he was adopted) and he talked IN DEPTH about how his bio parents are just how he got here and how his adoptive parents are his Mom and Dad. From the moment I pulled out of my parking lot at work to the moment I pulled into my driveway-not a minute more or less, I listened to him talk about his experience as an adopted child. It brought me to tears.

The same night, I was watching Private Practice and there was a storyline about a young woman who had no uterus. They tried a transplant with her um, grandmother's uterus. (My ute is fine, thanks and I know this is odd.... but it's tv)What spoke to me was the speech that her RE gave her when the ute transplant failed. Picture the very handsome, Benjamin Bratt with tears in his eyes while you read on: "We knew it was a long shot but we tried. Your mother knew it wasn't giving birth to you that defined her. It was the 1st time you looked into her eyes and smiled,the 1st time you fell asleep on her shoulder and she barley let herself breathe because she never wanted that moment to end. You will have your baby however she comes into the world and you will love her incredibly well because your mom taught you that that's all that matters." DISCLAIMER: *Those are not my words.....those are words I copied from Private Practice after rewinding the DVR 5 or 6 times to get it just right*

Love IS all that matters. I know there is a child out there that needs us...that needs our love and attention just as much as we need him or her.

Now, we have a long way to go. We have only just begun doing our research and we are still learning...but it feels like we are moving toward something real. For the 1st time, we can actually see ourselves as parents and we are so excited.

Thanks for listening.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Food for thought

In my last post I promised an account of the steps that lead to our decision...I really do keep meaning to post but it's been difficult for me to try and share all that has gone on in the past few weeks without losing you. I'm going to try and break things down without boring you. I'll start by sharing my thought process before I get into the signs that keep appearing.

Adoption had always been something I had thought about, but more in terms of an option for a sibling for our biological child. I found it so overwhelming,though. Not the part about parenting a child that was not my bio child-that was never a question. I'm talking the paperwork and the waiting and the financial strains.

I also felt like I had a job to finish. Since I had been pg a few times I felt like I was meant to keep going until I had the chance to give birth. And I'll be honest....when I was sitting in front of some of the best REs in the country and they would tell me that they were pretty confident that they could get me pg, I believed them. I also felt a bit betrayed by God and, you've heard me say this before: I found it really hard to believe that He would let me have so many miscarriages and never let me experience child birth. You don't just get over that overnight. DE seemed like the next natural step since we were more familiar with the process and even the terminology. I had H convinced that we should head in that direction.

This last cycle was really tough on me physically. I'm still trying to overcome the fatigue and weight gain. I have this feeling that I'm not supposed to get pg to be a Mom. Going through a pregnancy is tough on any woman but a 40+ year old with Crohn's is considered especially high risk. Maybe I wouldn't be able to care for my baby as well if I had to go through 9 months + labor and delivery. I'd rather be a mother than be pregnant....and I want to be the healthiest I can be so I can give my baby all the best that I have to offer. I had my heart set on feeling baby kicks and breastfeeding and that is still hard to let go of but I feel like I have a new focus. I always said I didn't want to be pg at 40 (my parents were 40 when I graduated high school!)and I'm there. My body is tired. I'm sick of gaining weight(it's fine if there is a baby but it's not fun to look pg when you are not). I hate not being able to exercise- my mind and body need it on a daily basis and I want my healthy body back.

A part of me can't believe I did IVF so many times or that I spent so much money and time but I needed to take this journey and have it end where it ended. I think my head and my heart are finally in the right place at the right time. Everyone always says you will know when it's time to stop...when you have hit your limit and I feel like I have. H and I are both ready to get on with our life and we want that life to include a child. Convincing him to adopt was something I was going to need to work I thought. But more about that in the next post where we'll get down to specifics.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A new beginning

It has taken me a while to craft this post. I struggled to find the right words. I wanted my readers to understand that my decision was not a spur of the moment kind of thing...although it may seem that way.

I guess the best way for me to start out is by saying that I don't think I have been true to myself and that I have ignored what my heart and God (or the universe, whatever you believe)has been trying to tell me. I'm going to take you back a few years to explain some of it so bear with me.

A month or so after my 1st miscarriage, H and I went out to dinner with his godmother. She had lost her husband a year earlier and she was still struggling. We spent a lot of time with her after she lost her husband. She never had any children and H was the closest thing she had to a child. She was infertile and I think that's why her and I got so close. We switched restaurants at the last minute and ended up at a restaurant by the lake that we had been wanting to get to. There is something about the water for is so peaceful and soothing.

I was looking forward to a relaxing evening with good conversation and good food. Gazing at the lake after the tough times we had been through was just what I needed. Well, they seated us next to a couple around our age with a little girl. At this point, it was hard for us to be around kids and we felt like our dinner was going to be ruined. Well, the baby was so precious and kept waving and smiling and playing peek-a-boo and we had some nice chatter with her parents and grandparents. The baby's mother told us how she was so animated and friendly ever since she had been born and how the moment she saw her in the delivery room she fell in love. As they were about to leave, the mother told us that it was nice having dinner with us and H's godmom wished them lots of happiness with their baby girl. She told her how beautiful the baby was and that she looked just like her. The mom looked at me and said that the baby was actually adopted. She said that she never tells people that because sometimes she forgets and because it's no one's business....but for some reason, she felt compelled to share that with me. Since she was so candid, I mentioned that we were having trouble and that we might be going down that road some day. She gave us the name of her agency and she couldn't say enough great things about them. I have never forgotten that name. I actually looked up the website the next day and got scared off by the price. H was nowhere near even considering adoption at that point (back in 2008)and I knew he would never want to part with that kind of money. He had me convinced that we could not give a child the kind of life he or she deserved if we had to start out in debt from adoption costs. I dropped my investigation into adoption and focused on IVF while we still had insurance coverage.

I became addicted to hope. One IVF after clinic after another and still no baby. I was convinced that because I had miscarriages that it was my sign that I should just keep trying....I was so close, after all. After the insurance ran out, I was still convinced that it had to work so we kept know my've seen my stats. If there was a God in heaven, surely He would not give me what I wanted most and take it away so violently? I had hoped not.

But that chance meeting with the lady and her baby was always in the back of my mind. I swore up and friends, to family and in several post on this very blog that I could not see us adopting. I just didn't know how I could manage the paperwork and the waiting and all the little annoyances that are bound to pop up when you are dealing with lawyers and red tape.

If you hadn't guessed it yet, I'm about to tell you how all that I changed and how I finally feel a sense of peace about my struggles, my losses and just about everything that happened the past few years. My H and I have decided to adopt. We are in the early stages of research but we are both really excited to become parents. We feel that this is the best way for us to build our family and we know that there is a baby out there waiting for us.

In my next post, I'll talk more about how and why we came to be on the same page after so many years of fertility treatments. It really is amazing to me what we can accomplish when we listen to our hearts and pay attention to the signs around us.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Why did I bother?

Boy, the clinic is soooooo nice when they want your money. Try and make a WTF and it's a completely different story.

They don't even let you make a follow up appointment on the regular line. They transfer you to some "call center". As if you don't feel excluded know, not being able to get pregnant on your own, years spent pumping drugs into your body and taking time off from work and having miscarriages. They don't even let you talk to the people you are familiar dealing with.

When we decided to use this clinic, we went straight to the top. We met with the owner and he was pretty honest,all while trying to encourage us to think positive. He kind of pushed DE but he also really encouraged us to look at adoption....and never say never.

We only had a 10% shot of this working and I have definitely reached my limit with IVF using my eggs body,mind and soul. We are really looking for honest answers as far as the probability of DE working and we had our hearts set on wrapping it up with the guy we started with.

He doesn't come to our office anymore. We would have to travel about 3 hours each way if we want to see him. No big deal,right? When you have done 7 IVFs and more than half of them were spent traveling to NYC and back...every day, the last thing you want to do is put more miles on your car for a 15 min. meeting. We decided to meet with the other RE in the practice- neither of us have met him. He just happens to be the guy that had the nurse call H and tell him to get some backup sperm. Awesome.

So, we have to wait until 11/2 to put this to bed. I suppose it's my fault for waiting this long to call them but I simply wasn't ready. Now, I'm just ready for it to be over and move on. More proof that we don't get what we want in the time frame we want it. c'est la vie

In the meantime, H and I are enjoying our favorite time of year...joie de vivre!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dragging my feet...

Something in me won't let me make that call to the clinic for the cycle recap. I'm not ready to talk about it yet. I'm afraid that an upbeat meeting with the RE will get me excited to move on to DE but the more we discuss it, H and I think that may not be our best option. Better odds than with my eggs but 50/50 is not something you want to spend $30K on. I am a sucker for positive talk and will believe anyone if they tell me they think can get me pg,though.

Will someone just tell me to stop being such a wuss and make the call?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A visit with Grams

I went to see my Gram yesterday. Yep. I'm 40 years old and I still have 1 living grandparent. I love to visit my Gram. Time stands still for me there. I feel like a child again. No one can make you feel like a Grandma can. My Gram has a knack for making everyone feel like they are the most special person around...even people she meets for the 1st time. She is very devout and I am in awe of that. I cannot imagine a life built on such unwavering faith. Even after losing my Grandpa, she continues to live a very full and active life.

My Gram's house is the same exact way that it was when I was a little girl. She has the shiniest kitchen linoleum I have ever seen and lots of crochet stuff and starched doilies. Whenever I step foot in her house, I can almost see my child self playing "tea party" with the mini cups and plates or making pictures with the Spirograph. I had hoped someday that my own children would play there. It makes me a little sad but I feel safe when I am there. Every time I see her, my Gram tells me how she prays for us to become parents. She loves my husband and she thinks he is just like my Grandpa. She thinks we are very lucky and she tells us all the time how happy she is that we found each other....."Just like me and Gramp" she'll say. One small difference: we have no children and I might never be a Grandma to anyone. You tend to forget about that part. Sure, it's hard to accept that you might never be a parent but that means you'll never be a grandparent,either. I had a special relationship with both of my Grandmas and it makes me so sad that I may never have the chance to be that special person for someone else.

I know. Just because you are a parent, it doesn't mean you'll be a grandparent. Some of you may not. But you may. The possibility is there. When you are an infetile, it's just another thing you end up mourning. It's a lifetime of mourning all at once.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Genetic failure

We planted some mums last year in front of our house. They were a really pretty,rich orangey-red color. Somehow, they are coming up purple. I hate purple. I certainly don't want it in front of my house because it does not match. I know that your flowers don't have to match your house but I want my flowers to match my house. That's just my taste.

When we went out to buy some new mums, we asked the guy at the greenhouse about our mysteriously changing plant and we got a genetics lesson. He told us that one of 2 things are possible: 1.) We could have had a mum in the offensive purple color planted next to the color we expected to come up and a root from that purple one or even a bee could have polluted/pollinated our beautiful autumnal hued mum. That was certainly not the case because I don't buy purple flowers. 2.)Mums originally only came in like 2 colors...the rest of them are all hybrids. Today's hybrids are the results of endless crosses between several species from China and Japan. They can actually "revert" back to their original color at any time. Who knew? You may have but I am clueless when it comes to gardening.

I can't seem to escape the subject of genetics.

We all know that my crappy eggs are the reason I can't maintain a pregnancy. Like the mums, if I buy eggs from somebody else and mix them with H's sperm what am I going to get? I thought being pregnant was the most important thing since I feel like that is the only way I can heal from my miscarriages. I feel like a "do over" will be the only way for me to move on but I'm not sure anymore. I'm starting to get really sad about not having a genetic connection to my child. As much as I want to be pregnant, I am scared to death to play with genetics. I have already failed miserably with my own DNA but what happens when we bring a 3rd person into the mix? I don't want it to be purple mums all over again. I'm so scared to mess with a human more ways than one. I think I would have a nervous breakdown if I had a failed DE cycle. We've already been through too much. There is just so much to think about and while I knew it was possible this day was coming, I now know that I am not prepared for it.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Six years

It was a gorgeous sunny day in the low 70s. The humidity was nonexistent and there was a slight breeze. I remember the big news story was still Hurricane Katrina even though it had happened almost a month earlier.

I was so very calm (not my personality)and simply beaming. I have never felt more like myself than I did on that day. People could not help but be happy in my presence. I was about to marry the love of my life and we were about to start our life together with a family of our own. I just knew I would be pregnant before our 1st anniversary. I didn't care if it was a boy or a girl but I did secretly hope for one of each at some point. I knew it might take a little longer for us than the average couple since I was pushing 35.

After our 1st anniversary, nothing happened. I got sick with a bad Crohn's flare and we had to put things on hold for another 2 years until I went back into remission. By that time, I was 37 and already considered old (reproductively speaking). In early 2008, we found out about the issues with the sperm and we were told IVF was our only option.

You should know everything that happened from then on. If not, check my archives.

Our marriage has been one struggle after another....mostly all health related. It has been 6 years of wishing and hoping and longing. Instead of being happy with our family of 2, we have been desperately trying to add more members. I know I said I had no regrets about what we have done and I still feel that way. But when I think back to that day 6 years ago, I almost feel like we have nothing to show for it.

Luckily, our marriage has survived all the shit that comes with infertility but I want to be that girl that I was on my wedding day again. I don't know how to do that but I want to be that happy and hopeful does H. I'm praying we can figure it out together and we can find that happiness a different way.

Happy anniversary, H!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Going forward

Don't judge me but I subscribe to a daily email from Rev Run. Yes, the guy from run DMC. I really liked his show a few years ago on mtv and I jumped on his "Daily Word" bandwagon. It's basically an inspirational quote sent to your inbox every day. Sometimes they don't mean much to me and I hit delete. But some days, that damn email can really speak to me.

Like the title of my post suggests, the tile of his email was "Going Forward" and it said "Good morning. A life of reaction is a life of slavery, intellectually and spiritually. One must fight for a life of action, not reaction."

Today...right now, going forward could mean a number of different paths. I don't know if we should pursue DE or adoption or foster care. I don't know if children are in our future. I suppose I should be very sure before we move forward. I know...I keep saying "I". H is probably ok with stopping everything. He is not sure he wants a baby without my DNA. He wants our baby to be beautiful like me. (His words-NOT MINE!)Let's be honest....he doesn't want to spend the money,either. It's a lot more than IVF and there is still a big chance it won't work. He is also not keen on adoption. Both of us are reluctant to start that is so daunting. I know there are children out there who would be so lucky to have us and the life we could provide but there are so many couples competing for the same babies, anyway. I am sure there are loads of amazing couples who are much more confident in their choice to adopt. We don't need to be competition for them,either. That's not fair.

H would probably go along with whatever makes me happy. That is how he is. He makes most of the decisions when it comes to money and the work we do on the house,etc. but he usually defers to me about this stuff. It is really overwhelming to be making these types of decisions on my own. i.e going to all the NYC clinics, trying IVF so many times, trying DS. It's a pretty heavy burden to bear when it goes wrong,too. I have no one to blame but myself for the past 4 years...the heartache, the money that is gone,the toll it has taken on my body....on our relationship at times. There are things that we have said in the name of anger and hormones that can never be taken back. My head is spinning thinking about it. Yet, I have no regrets. If we didn't try, we would probably always wonder. I just wish we had our baby.

So, while I was struck by how profound the title of that email was, I have no clue what "going forward" means for us. I am going to save it in a folder somewhere or maybe I'll print it out and keep it in my wallet. I don't want to live my life by having a reaction to things that happen to me. I want to make things happen. I hope that someday soon I do have some answers and that I don't feel like we are stuck in a place we don't want to be. I guess we start slow, take it one day at a time and maybe the rest will unfold. Perhaps the actions will present themselves if we stop fighting our circumstances.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Not my happy ending....

IVF # 7 did not go down like I had hoped. Obviously, that means I am not pg. I'm ok. Sure, I'm sad but I'm so tired of this life. For nearly 4 years I have lived and breathed IVF. I have been living in a constant state of longing and I deserve better than that,so does my husband. We tried everything in our power to make this work and it's time to stop.

I don't know if we'll pursue DE-it really depends on the wait and if H and I decide we can handle it. The financial commitment is huge and I'm not sure I could handle a failure with someone else's eggs. If there is one thing this journey has taught me it's that there are no guarantees.

Tonight, I am going to eat the majority of a pan of brownies with frosting and tomorrow morning I'll start working out hardcore again. I may never be a Mom but at least I can look good.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Your guess is as good as mine....

I just want to know. I don't want to wait until tomorrow. I am thinking about buying a stick and testing myself. I think I need to rip the band aid off.....

Today, I have cramps along with the tummy troubles that come along with a visit from Flo. It could be because I have pantyhose on...I haven't worn them since like, May....maybe they are squeezing my colon too tightly. My boobs aren't really sore anymore, though and my nipples aren't big like all the other times I was pg. That was always a sure sign for me so I think I know how this is going to go.

The one thing I do have going for me is the fact that I'm not spotting yet. I always spot the day before my period and that happened during cycles #4 and #5, too. Cycle # 6 was a big fat failure and I got my period 6 days after my transfer so at least I've passed that mark......

I suppose my erratic behavior could also be considered a pg symptom at this point but it could be good old fashioned PMS on steroids (or estrogen and progesterone to be more precise). I yelled at my husband this morning...he was rushing around and doing a lot of banging and mumbling so I told him to get his shit together and stop "angry talking". I don't know what I meant by angry talking and neither did he because the look of confusion on his face as he repeated the words "angry talking" sent me into a fit of giggles that lasted for about 15 min. I probably have laughed that hard about 5 times in my whole life....I was making noises I didn't know I could make. As a matter of fact, every time I see that look in my head I LOL. That is how I do a mood swing.

Tomorrow is not only my beta day but it is significant in other ways,too. It's the 4 year anniversary of the passing of H's favorite uncle. They were very close. His wife is H's godmother and her and I are a lot alike. She was never able to have children and I know she regrets it so she is very sensitive to what we have been through. She has always been very supportive of me and H and she does not hide the fact that we are her favorites in the family. I know she wants this for us and I can only imagine H's uncle does,too. It would be so unbelievably perfect if we find out tomorrow that I am pregnant.

Also, tomorrow is "peace day". I have never heard of it but after a quick visit to Google I'm up to speed.

From the official "Peace Day" website:

"The International Day of Peace ("Peace Day") provides an opportunity for individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date. It was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly."

"Peace Day should be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples…"

"International Day of Peace is also a Day of Ceasefire – personal or political. Take this opportunity to make peace in your own relationships as well as impact the larger conflicts of our time." connection.

I'm no hippie...sure, world peace would be great but I'll admit that it's not the focus of my prayers. So, I'm choosing to apply it to my own personal relationships as stated above. Specifically, my relationship with IF and my body with it's poor quality eggs.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if my body decided to make peace with me and just get pregnant already? Maybe Uncle Charlie can help work on that,too. Perhaps he can speak to the angels or whoever is in charge up there and see to it that I have a strong, healthy beta tomorrow. I think that would make his nephew and his widow very too.

Pray for me, people.

Monday, September 19, 2011

2 more days

And I am a hot mess. I still haven't worked out since before my retrieval. I figured I'd try something new by not exercising and see if it works. All it's doing is making me feel like a fat slob. My weight is down but I feel so jiggly. Ewww. I also have some ugly dark circles under my eyes and a fever blister. WTF? When was I sick? I'm feeling extremely unattractive and I think I may have a nervous breakdown if I find out I am this ugly for no good reason(a baby would be a good reason).

Symptoms are coming and going and I don't know what to make of it all. I'm not really that concerned. It is what it is at this point. I'll just deal when I get the news. I may not be feeling quite as positive as I have been, though.....

Such a colossal mindfuck.....

Friday, September 16, 2011

This is where it gets tough

6dp3dt. The HCG shot is definitely out of my system by now but it's a little too early to feel pregnancy symptoms yet. There is so much second guessing at this stage!

I have a cramp and I'm sure I'm not pregnant. I crave chocolate and I'm not pregnant. I fart or bawl or giggle uncontrollably and I think I'm pregnant. My cravings went from pizza and cheesy Mexican food to turkey dinner with stuffing and gravy. I want it to be Thanksgiving so bad it physically aches. The soreness of my boobs changes does the crampiness....just like my opinion on whether this is going to happen or not.

I will share with you a few very unusual instances from today that make me think this is possible(for the moment).

I eat strawberries every day. In season,out of season-doesn't matter. I eat them every morning with cottage cheese for my mid-morning snack. (I'm a total grazer...little snacks all day long)This morning, they tasted so sour to me that I could barely choke them down. I had to hold my nose to finish my snack. They tasted fine yesterday and they came from the same package. WTF?

Everything is tasting funny to me...the water at work tastes like metal and my pineapple at lunch tasted like motor oil.

The best part of my day was when someone at work asked me if I lost weight today...I have been losing weight for about a year now but she said I look even thinner and really good, really healthy. Her eyes got wide and she said: "Wait, are you pregnant? You look like you are glowing!" I am not sure how looking like I lost weight = being in the family way (Maybe if my ass doubled in size I could see how she could ask that)but it made me so happy, I almost cried. This is a woman who is most definitely not privy to my IVF hi one at work is, actually. She doesn't even work in the same department so it's not like she sees me coming in late or taking time off. Maybe she knows something I don't.....I'd like to think so. I mean, some people just have a knack for that sort of thing. I do. I knew my sis was pg with my niece 2 days after she took a test...she didn't tell me until a month later but I knew. I won't bore you with more proof but my record is fanfuckingtastic.

Of course this could all be due to the estrogen and progesterone that I'm taking...or because Flo is imminent...or because I am probably peri-menopausal.

*sigh* See what I mean?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Week 1: killed it!

This time next week I'll know if lucky cycle 7 worked. Beta day is 1 week from today: September 21st. That's 3 days before our 6th wedding anniversary. Hoping we are blessed with the best kind of anniversary gift for our 6th year together. The traditional gifts for the 6th year of marriage are iron and sugar. How about a sweet little baby with healthy levels of iron in his/her blood?

I'm faring quite well so far. I still have some symptoms (sore boobs, mood swings, peeing 5 times at night....that's NOT a misprint. 5.times.every.night. ) so I am not freaking out yet. I have some really unusual things going on that I can't say I have experienced before....some a little TMI but I'm going to go for it and share them with you.

I have been waking up in the middle of the night with leg cramps...charlie horses in my calves. I haven't had a charlie horse in about 20 years. Maybe it's because I haven't been exercising but I've taken breaks from my workout routine before.

I am craving pizza and Mexican food. I normally don't touch the stuff...too unhealthy. I'll eat pizza maybe 4 times a year, if that. And if I do eat Mexican food, it's a salad (minus the rice) from Chipotle. That would not satisfy me right now. I want beef tacos loaded with cheese and guacamole. Come to think of it...I'd probably eat my favorite pair of shoes if they were smothered in cheese. I have not indulged just yet but I sure have been dreaming about it.

Speaking of dreams....I had such an interesting dream last night involving Vince from Entourage (such a good kisser) and Mcsteamy (not so bad,either). Nope, not a threesome...I was just a cheater. It's bad enough that I had the dream but I have been giddy all day thinking about it. Imagine trying to decide between the 2 of them!

That's it for now. I'm not sure if I can count any of these things as symptoms at just 4dp3dt. Honestly, I know better than to read into anything, anyway. Bring on week 2!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

(Em) babies on board 9/10/11

(Thanks to my friend Edwina for pointing out what an awesome date this is!)

All 3 of them! I can't help but be excited. I was thinking we would only have 1 left to transfer based on my history of embryo making. I have never had all of my embryos make it to day 3 before. I know you are probably thinking it is not a big deal...3 is not a huge #. I'm sure lots of my readers have lots more to show for 2 weeks of shots and bloat and mood swings than 3 little embryos on transfer day. Let me explain....

First of all, I learned early on that you can't compare your cycle to anyone else's. Most of the women I know who are cycling are at least a few years younger than me so statistically, it is expected that they would have more embryos to choose from. I certainly can't perform like a 33 year old when it comes to egg making. I'm proud of my 40 year old eggs.

I was given my trigger shot a bit early....earlier than my body is used to. Most of the time they try to get the most eggs out of my ovaries that they can. I only had 4 mature eggs out of the 10 that were growing and for 3 of them to fertilize and remain viable on day 3 is a big win for me. That's a 75% fertilization rate which is pretty darn good. I'd rather have less eggs that actually fertilize and thrive than lots of embryos that arrest before I have my transfer.

Which brings me to the quality. It all looked really good yesterday. The clinic uses a grading system of 1-4 with 4 being the best quality. I'm carrying 3 grade 3's around with me right now. They rated my embryos a 3 instead of 4 because of slight fragmentation...nothing like I've had in the past. I don't know how many cells they were because I just didn't ask but I did see the RE's notes and I know one of them was an 8 cell and that is what they hope for on day 3.

I had acupuncture and a little Valium before my procedure....I never heard of Valium at a transfer before and it was lovely. The Valium was clinic approved and it made such a difference. I wish I could have Valium every time someone came at me with a cold metal speculum. Do you think I can make that suggestion to my OB/GYN for my yearly pap? She is young and seems like she could be a bit progressive...... I also slept on the acupuncture table for an hour after my transfer. Such an amazing way to end my morning!

I left feeling relaxed and positive and I felt so sure of things. For the 1st time, I involved my whole family. I brought the pictures of my embryos to my sister's house for dinner and showed them to my Mom and sisters. I've never shared so much with any other cycle. I have to say that the extra prayers and support and pep talks made me feel so loved and like this is so possible....even probable. Things just feel so different this time.

The best part of my day was in the car on the way to the clinic. H turned to me with tears in his eyes and told me that he had a really good feeling about this cycle. He said he never has felt like we were going to be successful before this. 6 cycles and he never thought it would work...he went through the motions for me. It's cycle # 7 and he finally admitted this to me. He's not a man of many words and he won't say something unless he truly means it so I know that he does.

Now...we wait.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Quality over quantity

This has been my mantra for this cycle. I know this. I have known this since I started IVF over 3 years ago. I say this to people all.the.time. Now, it's time for me to believe the hype.

Out of 10 eggs, only 4 were mature and 3 fertilized. I have 3 little embryos growing in the lab. The Embryologist gave me the age speech and how great this is for someone who is 40. I was also told that they could have triggered me later but that they didn't want to sacrifice the quality of the few follicles in the lead in order for the smaller ones to catch up. When it comes right down to it, you probably aren't going to get pg with bad quality eggs. If you do, it might not end well. I've been down that road.

Instead of being greedy and praying that I have lots of eggs and some that make it to freeze (as I have for my past 6 cycles) I decided to pray for something else this time. I prayed for nice, strong embryos....and that at least one of them would become my take home baby.

So for now, I will think positive and keep praying. I pray that my 3 embryos make it to transfer day. That's Saturday at 9:30 am. After that I'll pray that at least one of them wants to stick around and that I'll have some excellent news in about 12 days. It only takes one.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Trigger happy

...sooooooo freaking happy! I feel so big this time around...and sore. It probably didn't help that I haven't been doing my ab workouts and that I was carrying around a 20 lb. baby all weekend. (My nephew..... I'm hoping some of his babyness rubbed off on me, at least)

Today was a low key kind of day and we needed it to recover from the busy weekend. After my monitoring appt. I did a little shopping (new comfy pants for the ER...yes I am that girl that plans outfits for all of life's events)and stopped by to visit my sis and check out her new bathroom remodel. Lovely! I played with her (sort of) step daughter for a while and headed home around 11. H was waiting impatiently for me so we could just spend a quiet day together. He wasn't as happy as me that today is trigger day.....I think he was hoping for some action but A.) last night's action hurt my ovaries and B.)he has to save the sperm!

My E2 is a little on the high side for the 9 follicles they are counting so far.....the sizes range from 12-22 mm and there are a few more under 12. So, they thought I might get anywhere from 9-12 eggs. I'm a little worried about that 22. I think Cornell usually triggers when the lead is around 18-20, if I remember correctly.

I'm taking my shot at 8pm. That means my retrieval will be at 8 am on Wednesday. I'm assuming they'll do a 3 day transfer. Fine by me....that would mean Saturday. I'd rather not have to explain another day off to the nosy types at work.

It's going to be so strange to be so close to home after the procedures. I'm used to a 3 hour car ride back home before I can get into my bed with my heating pad. I'll probably miss our little rituals....same hotel...same place for lunch and a walk around the city, same chicken sandwich with avocado and the special southwestern sauce,spinach salad and Terra chips purchased at the market near the hotel. Come to think of it, I'm almost out of that sandwich sauce...

I am feeling kind of detached from this cycle. It's almost like it's an out of body experience (Well, except for the tight pants and huge gut) Maybe it's because I was barely monitored or that I didn't have to be up at 3am to drive to NYC every day. Maybe I'm protecting myself. Or maybe I'm just ready to face whatever happens come what may.

See you on retrieval day! Unless something happens between now and then that is worth noting ;)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Plugging along

Follie check # 2 and I'm doing ok. No better,no worse than any other cycle. I'm feeling a bit lackadaisical about the whole thing. It looks like I'm cooking 9-10 follicles total. 6 on the right an 4 on the left. The left is my problem side (in all areas of my health...slow ovary, side that gets abscesses,the side that had endo, my bad eye,etc. I won't bore you with more.)There's a lead follicle at about 15and the rest range from 9-13. (I never had a lead follicle with an estrogen priming protocol before so I hope this place knows what they are doing.) I'm so achy around my ovaries and my hips and my lower back that I expected to be further along. My E2 is still only around 552 and I am on Day 2 of the Ganirelix shots.

I'm still pissed about the sperm. They kept defending the chick who called my husband to tell him to buy backup sperm. They say it's standard practice for them to tell people that and blah,blah,blah. H may be big but he is very sensitive...especially regarding his "ball problems".(His words) Add that to the fact that we were never asked to produce backup sperm at the NYC clinics and anyone would have panicked.

Right now my big problem is that I am due to run out of medication and I cannot order it until Monday. Well, I ordered it but they won't set up a delivery date until Monday and that is when I'll need it. I had a bunch of Menopur I thought was good but it turns out it expired in February 2010. Crap. I am not worried for some reason,though.... I'm hoping the clinic can loan me some until I get my order. I'm usually more on top of things...much more obsessive and dare I say, a bit of a stickler when it comes to cycling but I'm sure it will work out. Any other time this would have sent me into a tail spin. I would have screamed and yelled and gotten myself all worked up but I have this feeling everything is going to be ok.

My BIL and his wife and the baby will be here sometime tomorrow. I cleaned the whole house from top to bottom even though it wasn't even dirty. (I like to stay on top of things...what can I say...) My routine is usually a 2 day job for me but I was able to conquer it all today. I have no idea where this burst of energy came from...I've been feeling so worn out lately. I'm actually looking forward to the visit. I'm thinking a dose of baby would be great for me right now. Maybe my body will take the hint and get pg already, ya think?

My next follie check is Monday. I'm used to being monitored every day so this seems so wrong. A lot can happen in 3 days, you know. I'll keep you all posted.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Yet another setback....vulgar vent ahead

Why,why,why did I decide to cycle at a clinic outside of NYC? Someone remind me. Was it to save money? Or so I didn't have to drive 6 hours a day? Is that worth the incompetence and utter stupidity I am dealing with at this local joint? Here I go questioning myself and my decision again but I'm seriously pissed.

I had a nice talk about H's latest SA with the nurse yesterday during my monitoring appt. Remember? I talked about it in my last post... Anyway, I asked her if we needed a repeat since the count was a little low (300,000) and she said no because we were doing ICSI and I am not going to have 300,000 eggs. She looked at his past SAs and agreed that there was a slight improvement in the count and a huge improvement in the motility (how fast they move). As far as I was concerned, we were good.

H got a call at work from another nurse at the clinic telling him that he needed to repeat his SA and be prepared with backup sperm "just in case". The poor guy was devastated all day and he could not reach me to discuss. I just finished telling him yesterday how everything was better and some dip shit nurse completely crushed him. He had the sense to tell her to go back and look at his records and confirm the improvement. She came back and tried to tell him that they always recommend backup sperm and that she saw that he did always have a sample to produce so he should be fine but the damage was already done. He feels horrible about himself.

How the fuck are they going to say that he might not have enough sperm? At Cornell, 50,000 sperm were plenty for the 10 little eggs from my last cycle. They don't even blink at the small's normal there. That's a lot more than many of their patients can produce! Not to mention, some men can't even get sperm to come out when they jerk off ....they have a procedure where they stick a needle in their sack and pull them out. They can only get a few but in most cases, that's enough. My husband had 300,000 they can chase down to make an embryo with. I feel like I am being cared for by freaking hillbillies.

Sorry for the strong language but I am fresh from getting the news from H. I don't like anyone hurting my man and I don't like knowing more than the people who are supposed to taking good care of me.

Now, I'm suddenly worried......

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hurdle # 1....I'm over it

This is not going to be the most clever post, I'm afraid. Between trying to get to anywhere through the maze of road closures (thank you, Irene) and being short staffed at work, I am lucky I can put 2 words together right now.

I had my 1st follicle check today...I'm on CD 6.

My E2 is 138. Since I am obsessive and I have a blog that chronicles every measurement, I also know that in Nov 2010 it was 189 on CD 6 and in March 2010 it was 210 on CD 6. It just keeps going down the older I get, it seems......

I think I may end up with a few less follicles but I'd be ok with that if the quality is there. It looks like I have about 9 follicles right now. That could go up or down....too early to tell. My next check is on Fri. so I 'll be sure to report on my findings.

We also got the results back from H's latest SA. There's good news and bad news. The counts didn't change as much as we were hoping. He produced around 300,000 swimmers. He has had samples below 100,000 so it's not horrible but he was expecting it to go up into the millions. I knew better but didn't want to dash his hopes. It's not like I am going to have 300,000 eggs so we'll definitely have enough for embryo making. The motility shot up to 33% from a mere 6% though and that is huge! Still not much hope for getting pg on our own with counts so low but you gotta celebrate the little wins,too.

I'm feeling like shit....headache,sore ovaries and bloating but it will all be worth it in the end,right?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Time to do some shots!

Nope, not lemon drops and tequila....follistim and menopur by way of the needle...not in a sweet little shot glass from my collection of wedding shot glasses thanks to the tidal wave of weddings we attended a few years back. Come to think of it....some of those couples are divorced or loaded with children while we are still trying for our 1st baby.

It's just like I bugging my husband to do the mixing of the menopur (I'll stick myself but I'll leave the prep work to the chemist!)while I get everything set up and stand over his shoulder until he remembers how it all works. After 6 tries I am not sure how he doesn't know but this is the same man who cannot find the cinnamon in the pantry despite the fact that it is always in the same place!

Other than me starting my meds, there isn't much else to report. The most notable thing that happened was my husband telling me that my pants don't look as baggy anymore and consequently, me bursting into tears.

A little background......I've lost about 12 lbs. since my last cycle in Nov 2010. No meds=weight under control. I probably would have lost even more if I didn't have to quit working out for a month thanks to the lap debacle and if my social life wasn't so active. This summer has been a whirlwind of parties and butt may be bigger than it should be but I have lots of nice memories. I still have about 10 lbs. to lose before I reach my pre IVF weight, though.

So..... in my mind, H was telling me a.) that I look like I am gaining weight before my cycle even starts and b.) that I'll never reach my goal weight. Before you start judging, I know that I will gain weight when I get pg and I am so good with that but weight gain and no baby is like an extra big F U.

Luckily, H reminded me that 5 extra lbs show up with Flo every month (along with chocolate cravings, zits and extreme sensitivity). He's out of trouble and I am wearing my fat pants. They are still big and hopefully, they will stay that was until I have my pg test!

Friday, August 26, 2011

You've come a long way, baby.....

Actually, I have. But as a former Virginia Slims smoker (yes, that's probably why my eggs are in such bad shape, I've already beat myself up over that several times) I am taking this op to use the tag line from their old ad campaign to brag about how proud I am of myself.

I found myself in a situation a few nights ago that would have upset me if it had happened earlier in my journey. I was at a party and found out that an acquaintance was pg. It really didn't bother me and I'm kind of surprised it didn't. Classic "annoying to an IFer" story: KU by accident....had no idea,etc. but when I found out, I didn't blink. I think I just get it now. One person's life has NOTHING to do with mine. People will get pg. I may never or I might next week. (Please God!) People may wish they had an amazing hubby like mine or that their house is as clean as mine or that they have no gray hair like me (thas right bitches!) but if they focus on me and my stuff what does that say about them? I don't want to be that person that looks at everyone else and lives a life of longing. I never was like that before IF and I know I can't be like that now. Sometimes, it easier said than done but I'm a work in progress.

A year ago, I wouldn't have handled the situation so well but I have a different perspective now. I'm ok with where I am and the fact that our lives may never change. That it might be just the 2 of us growing old together. We'll just have lots of toys and cars and maybe even a beach house but no one to share our stuff with. I'd rather be painting a nursery and saving for college tuition but I may just have to be satisfied with the pretty great life I have.

Don't get me wrong. I want this cycle to work out so much and I want to be pregnant again. This time I would like a healthy baby at the end of 9 months. I am so much better with letting things take their natural course,though. If we need to move onto DE, so be it but there is no guarantee that will work either. Also, I am having a problem finding donors who fit my health and uh,looks profile. (No judgement please. I mean, if my good looks are going to go to waste, I am going to need to replace them with someone even better looking. LOL!)

A few days ago, I posted about being numb. I think I changed my mind about that diagnosis. Could I have possibly reached the final stage of grief....acceptance?

Monday, August 22, 2011

What's new?

A few things, like.....

1. IVF #7 has begun. (whispered in hushed tones)I started taking estrogen pills and Ganirelix shots on Saturday. (That really snuck up on me!)

2. My protocol. (Way different than the EPP I've done in the past.)

Here, I'll show you:

EPP at Cornell= pee on O sticks until I see the smiley. Call my own personal nurse (usually around cycle day 14) and slap on an estrogen patch every other day until patch #4 which I leave on until I get my period and a horrible rash in the shape of said patch. They had me taking the Ganirelix for a few days starting on cycle day 2with the stims.

EPP at CNY= 2 estrogen pills a day and 1 Ganirelix shot from cycle day 21 until Flo shows. Then I call some random nurse and start stims on day 3.

*******Some clinics use Day 2 and some use Day 3 for the baseline appointment*******

3. H has been doing really well on the chinese herbs,Clomid and HCG. I won't get into details but let’s just say things looked healthier when he um, tested it out. He has a repeat SA on Thurs. and we are both very anxious.

Both of us are pretty moody now thanks to the meds..... we are acting like a couple of teenagers. Let's hope the meds are turning back the time on our body parts,too. Ginger on estrogen and Ganilrelix + H on Clomid and HCG = Fireworks. Uh, not the good kind. He is mean and I am more sensitive than usual.

I'm trying to stay positive but it's so hard once I start the meds. It's been almost a year since I cycled. Do you believe it? November marks the anniversary of cycle #6. Where did that year go?!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I may be going numb.....

Lots of things used to bother me about not being able to have a baby. Bother might be understating it just a bit....I guess you could say that I was pretty disturbed. Like when I would hear a pregnancy announcement every other day or when I had to spend $ on a gift for someone else's baby shower or when some idiot would post one of those bullshit posts on FB that say something like "Only a mother can feel....blah,blah,blah....repost if you are a mother and would die for your kids!" You know the posts I'm talking about. They usually pop up around Mother's Day but I have seen them all year round. It's what makes all of the infertiles "hide" and "defriend" people and block their asses so we never have to see the bad prose ever again.

I was hurt and sad and angry when BIL's wife announced she was pg last August at my house when everyone was visiting from out of town. (At 5 weeks....I think that's called a missed period,BTW.) My ILs insensitive comments about us needing to get on with our lives and forget about children didn't help the situation....nor did it help when the baby was born and my MIL sent out an email to everyone she knows(including us)that said " We are sooooooo happy and sooooooo excited to finally be grandparents". (Did I mention that no one knew about our infertility or IVF cycles until she told them all against our wishes?)I never thought I would be able to handle seeing the baby, or seeing my ILs with the baby or even seeing pictures of H's brother with his wife and baby. I never thought I could handle my ILs non stop baby talk or my MIL saying that she likes it at H's brother's house because she gets to share the bathroom with the baby (Ummm, he's like 2 months old and I'm pretty sure he is not using the toilet just yet.)

Okay, I'll admit that this all sounds very bitter but that's not where I'm going with this post. My point is that I think I have become desensitized to all this stuff. Pregnancy announcements are not really bothering me these days. I can actually be in a room with a pregnant woman now without breaking out in hives. (Babies never were a problem for me. Neither were my infertile friends pregnancies. I could always find joy in my heart for those ladies who know what it is to struggle with reproduction.)Sure the crap my ILs say can bother me at times but I get over it pretty quick.

I'm not sure what it all means. Am I finally letting go? Is my spirit broken? Everyone tells me I have a great life, even without children. Am I finally starting to see that and accept that it might never happen? I still want a child more than anything but it seems so far away impossible at my age. Sure I try to think positive and all that but I feel like I have become so nonchalant about having my own child now. Is that the right attitude to have going into IVF #7? On the one hand, it seems like I can handle things so much better but on the other hand....I still long to be pregnant and hold and kiss and cuddle my very own baby. Maybe I am just finally recognizing that I need to live the life I have instead of the life I want....the life that everyone around me seems to be living. I know I'll be ok....and I like that feeling.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The aftermath.....

I was just starting to feel like myself again...I started my regular workout routine again, I got a pedi, and I went to the beach with H. We even stopped to luau with old friends (some I have not seen in 10+ years!)Life felt like it was falling back into place nicely. What perfect timing! I mean, IVF # 7 is due to start in about 2 weeks. But life has a way of tricking you....

When we got back from vacation, I had a window envelope from the ambulance company waiting for me in the mailbox. Nothing good ever comes from opening a window envelope...especially on the weekend. (Why do all these scary insurance related materials show up on Fri. or Sat? You can't possibly call anyone....everything is closed. H & I are convinced "they" have it planned that way to make you stress out or at the very least so they can eliminate some of the irate calls they are bound to receive.)

So, my window envelope contained a bill for $960. Apparently, calling 911 is really expensive. The ambulance company that I used (like I had a choice) was out of network. Was I supposed to call a bunch of different places to make sure they accepted my insurance? I was convinced I was about to die so that may not have been the best strategy. I spent a good portion of my Monday making calls to my contacts (thank goodness for my connections)to fix it. I submitted a claim and I am only responsible for my copay. Whew!

You would think I would have been through enough after all that. Not yet. Next came the business of trying to order the meds that I need for my upcoming cycle and dealing with the insurance company. I am too confused at this point to really even explain what happened but let's just say I was given 2 different totals, my credit card was charged the day I called and they sent me a bill for twice as much as I had already paid. There were also 2 missing meds that the order taker did not tell me were coming from a different company because they were not considered "specialty meds". I had to ask the rep I spoke to today at least 6 times if it was shipping via Fed Ex or regular mail before I got a straight answer. It's a good thing I know a little bit about insurance. Otherwise, I may have chosen to overdose on fertility drugs in the middle of that lengthy conversation.

I'm still waiting on 2 meds and a few more bills. I hope the bills don't come on Saturday and I hope the meds arrive before I need them next week! Another rocky start.....

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lap recap

I had my f/u with the Surgeon who performed my lap yesterday. It was a very interesting meeting indeed. My bladder is fine...I guess he had to move it out of the way to get to the endo that was buried underneath it. (I am so delicate that I got a little bruised. Ha!) He also shed some light on what endo can mean. I have never even researched it because it was never ever mentioned to me before I met RE #4.

I'm still in a state of shock about the endometriosis. I mean, how can 3 clinics (2 of them considered to be top in their field) let me do IVF 6 times without checking for this? I have complained about the same pain on my left side for my all of the REs I have seen...even to my Gastro (I have let him off the hook as his area of expertise is not my lady parts)and no one even thought to test for it. They all just like to blame everything on my old age. FWIW, I was only 37 when this all started....not old at all. If my FSH was high I could see how they would avoid doing the "crappy lappy" (as I have taken to calling it)but wasn't it worth investigating before I turned 40 and spent thousands on 6 IVFs? 6IVFs. That is a lot of IVFs.

The RE did tell me that there are conflicting reports about the affects of endo on on an IVF cycle. He believes that endo can destroy egg quality. He explained that there are chemicals that the endo gives off that can affect the quality of an otherwise healthy egg. In his practice, he has seen women get pregnant after even mild cases of endo being removed.

Maybe this is all I needed. I mean, we have a lot of other stuff going on but H is doing fabulous on the Clomid, HCG shots and the Chinese herbs. He feels 10 years younger and he cannot wait to have another SA. Is it possible I may still have a few good eggs left? I think in light of this news we may actually try 1 more time with my eggs before moving onto DE. It has increased our chances by about 10 % which makes it about a 20% shot. Better than we had in the past....Maybe the timing is finally right, maybe it's finally time for our baby to come to us.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Home Sweet Home (but not for long)

I got to relax for about 2 hours before the next crisis presented itself.

I didn't eat dinner so I had a yogurt around 9 with my pain pill. I was peeing like a champ up until then. I am not sure why but the next time I tried, I couldn't go. I tried everything: pushing, getting into the shower and running warm water over my bladder.I don't know if it was the yogurt or the fact that my bladder was lazy from relying on the catheter for too long. Maybe it was the fact that I clogged my pipes by drinking about 32 oz. of water in the past few hours in the hopes of clearing out my bladder but good. Whatever it was, it caused my stomach to lock up and I couldn't do anything. Then, the gas started building up....right up to my shoulders. Now, this was the gas I was warned about. At least I thought so until the pain got so severe that I was convinced I was dying from a burst bladder and going septic. My deep yoga breathing couldn't touch the pain so I was convinced my organs were damaged beyond repair. I got dizzy and almost passed out from the pain.

I screamed for H (several times because the TV was too loud or he was sleeping...this has yet to be determined)to call 911. I hardly had a voice and when he asked why he couldn't just drive me I think I would have throat punched him if I could reach or if I have any strength. The last thing I wanted to do was alert the neighbors to my latest health issue but he now knows if I ask him to call 911, it is dead effing serious.

The paramedics were 1st on the scene...they calmed me down a little and gave me some oxygen since I was clearly (to them) in the midst of a major panic attack. Then, the fireman came -they were so helpful.....they covered me with a towel because my dress was up and my ass was hanging out. I really did not care who was seeing what. The pain was like pain I had never felt before and all modesty flew out the window. The ambulance arrived last. If I was having a heart attack or if my organs did burst, It would have been too late. Uh, it took 15 minutes.

All 3 sets of workers asked me the same questions...what did I have done....when did the pain start.....I had to repeat my story 5 times. I get it...they are all trying to do their jobs but what made me angry was the comments: "Didn't they tell you to expect gas pain when you had the procedure?" "That's really common with laproscopic surgery." And the looks that they all shared when I told them I had a lap! At one point I said" Listen, I didn't call you because I have gas. They bruised my bladder and I can't pee and I am afraid my bladder is going to burst".

It was like talking to a brick wall.

And it wasn't any better when we arrived at the ER. It was Friday night and I believe it was a full moon. It took forever to get a room and while we were waiting in the hallway on a stretcher we got to watch a police officer interview an 8 year old who was just molested. There were people in and out of that room H was directing traffic. It was so sad. I just wanted to take her home with me. The irony did not escape me. A little girl's mother lets her boyfriend molest her while I laid there in excruciating pain fresh from having a painful surgery that would (hopefully) get me one step closer to being a mother.

When I finally got a room, a nurse cathed me ( but not before I got the speech about how you get bad gas whenever you have laparoscopic surgery.) Sweet relief. She left the room as I filled up the bag and she wasn't gone for long. Even she was surprised that she had to change the bag before we had an accident. Then she started being a lot nicer to me.

***Bitch Alert***

I know there are probably people out there who abuse 911 and the ER but I know my body and something was very wrong. It pisses me off when I have to pay the price in shitty care for the hypochondria or entitlement of others.

***Bitching over***

I had the catheter in all weekend. I was really looking forward to sitting in the sun all weekend and reading a book or two but how could I do that? There is nowhere to hide a cath bag in my tankini and I sure didn't want to walk around with a bag full of boiled bloody urine. I won't gross you out with the details of my mishaps with the uh maintenance issues....although some of it was hilarious.

I finally stopped peeing blood Sunday afternoon and the nurse at the clinic removed the cath for me on Monday. I'm peeing like it's my job and the gas is gone. My Acupuncturist took care of the rest of it on Tuesday.

I now have a new type of Dr. to add to the ever growing list of Specialists, though. I saw a Urologist today. I thought that was only for men but we all have urethra,right? She did a few tests and told me my bladder was fine. Whew.

The only ending that could be happier is if I finally get knocked up!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Trading in my Coach bag for a cath bag

The glamour just doesn't end for me.

When I woke up Fri. morning they made sure I was really doped up and they wanted to get me moving so I didn't stiffen up from the surgery. I began my day walking the halls at "the hospital". Me and my bloody bag of urine. I was getting funny looks from people but I felt pretty defiant thanks to my most recent dose of percocet. I have already been through my share of medical mishaps and a heartbreaking diagnosis or two and my attitude was: "if they can't handle it, they can look away". H always says that people who have to deal with tragedy are humbled and most people have not. Let them see how lucky they are.

My Dr. found me in the atrium enjoying the view of the grounds. He came to see me before heading to the office which I thought was great. He was impressed that I was up and moving around and oh so apologetic. "You stumped me" was the 1st thing he uttered after he asked how I was feeling. (I've heard that loads of times before,BTW.)His best guess was that my bladder got bruised when the nurse put the catheter in and I tend to agree. I was pretty swollen down there and I've never had a catheter before (something else to cross off my bucket list?)but I know there MUST be smaller ones. So, the testing began.

I headed downstairs for an ultrasound of my abdomen. The u/s showed a hematoma. The next test would require an empty colon so I had to head downstairs a 2nd time for an xray to see how full of feces I was. (Are you jealous of the glamour yet?) Test 2 was cancelled before I even learned what it was called (Um, I had eaten a little dinner the night before and a little breakfast,too) so my apologies for not having that info. The next idea was to do a CT scan of my bladder with contrast dye but that meant I needed to be moved. You see, when you go to a place that caters to healthy pg women and treats infertiles as an afterthought, they don't have the proper machines to treat any type of complication.

They called an ambulance to take me to the closest hospital (make that inner city hospital...they treat all kinds of stuff like gunshot wounds so they had the tools I needed,too.) Shout out to my homegirls "A" and "K" for making my field trip a memorable one and giving me the idea to think of my cath bag like a little purse. They stayed with me so I didn't have to wait for a "bus" back. They got in trouble with their Supervisor but they didn't want to leave me there with nothing but a hospital gown and a cath bag... I didn't even have underpants! I think they were worried about the nice lady being trapped at the ghetto hospital. BTW, Bus is paramedic talk for "ambulance". (I am so down with all kinds of new medical lingo thanks to my girls.)

The CT scan showed no perforations or any major trauma to my bladder so I headed back to "babyland" where they wanted to remove the catheter and see if I could pee on my own. I said goodbye to my new BFFs and added 2 more people to my list of those praying for me to become a Mom.

This is where the story gets weird. While I was gone, they gave me a roommate. Well, 2 roommates..... It's bad enough that they gave me a new mother and her 3 day old baby but this chic brought an entourage that included her baby daddy and her parents. This room has 4 hospital beds and 3 were full so you can imagine how crowded it was. Apparently, she had really high blood pressure and needed to be monitored. I know this because she didn't shut up from the time I was wheeled in on my stretcher until I left.

I listened to her and her family gush over the baby girl and saw them intermittently peek through my curtains for about an hour when my nurse showed up to remove the cath. I was about ready to hang myself by my cath cord so her timing may have saved my life. I started to pull my hospital gown up when I noticed a set of eyes looking through the curtain. The nurse saw too and she did not miss a beat. She covered me with the blanket and flung the curtains open. Bless her heart...she kicked them out! She told them we needed privacy and they could come back when she was done. They grumbled a little but left while my nurse worked on me. The baby daddy did pop back in just as she was finishing because he got in trouble for being in the hallway with a newborn by another nurse so I had to listen to a bunch of passive aggressive comments for the next hour while I tried to focus on peeing (and passing gas)so I could leave. That's when H showed up. I did my best to fart really loud and scare them off (if you know me IRL you know I am a total lady and I would die if anyone ever heard me fart but I was high on percocet and H was egging me on because he was so mad about their comments.)It must have worked. The trashy family finally left and I peed. (Yay me!) The last thing I heard as I was running out the door was the woman arguing that her baby and the baby daddy should be able to stay overnight with her.

I felt so relieved that my bladder could work on it's own and that I got out of that place in the nick of time. If I knew then what I know now, I would have stayed and put up with whatever that whiny voice would say for the rest of the night. My story ain't over yet, people. It's time for another break but check back with me....I have lots more to share.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Scared pissless

DAY 1.

The past few days have been a colossal cluster fuck. I don't even know where to begin but let me try.

To say I expected things to go smoothly is an understatement. While the lap was a new procedure to me, the hysteroscopy was my 3rd and all of the motions felt quite routine: fasting after midnight, showering with special soap, dressing in comfy clothes and sneaking sips of water despite the pre-op instructions to abstain. I get too thirsty and if I am too dehydrated they will never get a needle into my roll away veins. I even did 40 min. of yoga when I woke up to get me into maximum relaxation mode. H and I got to the "hospital" at 9:30 on the dot and I was feeling very zen. I should tell you that when I say "hospital" I actually mean "a big hospital like structure with no emergency room whose sole purpose is to birth babies and perform female surgery". I'm not sure who had the brilliant idea to integrate super fertile women with women who need to have various surgeries before they can even think about conceiving but what a shithead.

We were having a great time...laughing with our nurse, blowing kisses at each other when we thought no one was looking and planning out how to spend our low key weekend. The last thing I expected was for the Dr. to find endo. Maybe a polyp and maybe a little scarring in my ute.... but how does a woman go through IVF 6 times at 3 different clinics, have multiple pregnancy losses and this never gets checked out? I've been scratching my head for days. After I got over the shock of being cut (yes, just 3 little incisions), my next focus became peeing.

All in all, I didn't feel as bad as I was expecting. At first. I kept hearing about the gas and bloat and how terrible it was but I had yet to experience that. I felt fine. I ate my crackers and drank my ginger ale and started daydreaming about the spinach and tomato omelet I would have when I was finally sprung. But, alas. I did not pass the pee test.

We tried everything from a warm peri bottle squirted on my crotch to hot coffee in my mouth but my bladder wouldn't budge. When the last nurse in the out patient surgery wing was due to go home, the decision was made to move me upstairs to a "holding room" where I could be monitored while I waited for my bladder to catch up to my brain. We're talking after 5. They fed me and plied me with fluids....both IV and drinkable but no luck. I started to get really uncomfortable. Between the gas pains that were starting, the influx of fluids and the panic that began to set in, it was clear I was not going anywhere.

My final attempt to pee had me doubled over with cramps and in pain from my bladder to my ribs. I was given a catheter but not before I asked for pain meds. With a shot in the ass and a tube up my crotch, I filled my 1st bag of urine pretty quickly. Make that red urine. There was blood coming from somewhere....something we had to investigate before I could go home. I should have insisted on a more private room for my extended stay but I was pretty doped up and H had gone home by the time this all happened. I think it was around 7. He came back around 9 to deliver magazines and lip smacker and I persuaded the nurse to roll a tv over to my spot so I could watch the Real Housewives. I fell asleep assuming that I would be released early the next morning if I kept drinking my water and if I stayed hooked up the the IV all night. The good thing about staying in the hospital is that they give you your pain meds on schedule so I was pretty comfortable and confident that I would be back in my own bed soon enough.....

...until I woke up with a searing pain in my lower abs. Why? A kink in the catheter tube! And lots of blood and urine backed up into my bladder. I think I got extra pain meds for that but still not a fun way to end my 1st day of recovery. I thought this was the worst it could possibly get.....but I was so wrong. I'll have to fill you in on the rest a little later. Time to empty my cath bag.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Rollin' with the punches

and throwin' a few along the way. *sigh* I hate to generalize things but Drs. offices/clinics/Specialists offices really are all the same.

Every time you switch Drs. or clinics you have such high hopes and expectations. You are going to get along so much better with the nurses and they will call you when they say they will call but alas, you feel like you are dating again. It's up to you do do the follow up. Unlike dating, I am not afraid to call and stand up for myself. You promise me a prescription and a date and time for my surgery and you are going to deliver. I may have had too much pride to call a guy who blew me off but I'll be dammed if I am going to let IVF # 7 fail because someone didn't get back to me in a timely manner. It usually takes one instance of "neglect" on the clinics behalf and I do my little "dance".(And by "dance" I mean whatever it takes to get me what I need. Sometimes it is not polite or pretty...) After my expectation is set with said dance, I strike the perfect balance of fear and respect that will help me move forward a bit more smoothly. Believe me,there are exceptions but for the most part, they will do as I wish.

I really should quit my job and start a business to have people pay me for advocating for them when their Drs. and nurses don't seem to respond. I usually get results. Heck, I'm really good at dealing with businesses,too. I could be a professional bully.

**********Rant over**********

My point and my reason for the vent:

H started Clomid after our initial appt. on 6/23. He was supposed to start HCG shots the next week but we never heard from the pharmacy. I was supposed to have surgery within the next 7 days or it would have to be pushed to my next cycle. (Timing is everything with these procedures.) After 2 phone calls and an email to my nurse, I finally had to get my bitch on. HCG is due to arrive on Monday and I have a pre-op date and a surgery date thankyouverymuch.

The laparoscopy & hysteroscopy are scheduled for 7/14 at 11 am. If you want to send me any spare thoughts, prayers or positive vibes my way, I'll take em'.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Getting on my soapbox...

about acupuncture.

After our last cycle in Nov, H & I gave up for a while. We tested out living child free (no cycling,barely any talk of cycling and no appts. with REs) and we really don't like it. I even stopped going to acupuncture despite the fact that it helped with so many of my other health concerns. Driving to the Acupuncture office and laying on that table just felt too overwhelming to me.

My body, mind and spirit really started to suffer without my bi-weekly sessions,though. I had stomach issues and tense shoulders, sore joints and plenty of anxiety. Perhaps the most troubling thing to happen was the fact that my monthly period stopped it's clockwork regularity and started showing up on day 25 or 26 instead of day 28 at exactly 9:45 am. I kept thinking I had menopause until I realized that it could be a side effect from the Clomid I took for one month. (No judgement. H asked the Dr. for a little help while we saved for DE) at our WTF and Clomid was his response. I quit after 1 month because it made me feel awful and I was a bitch on wheels.

So, I found a new Acupuncturist close to home and after 3 short weeks....I am feeling much better all over and :::drumroll please::: Flo showed up today on Day 28! It was 11 am instead of 9:45 but I'll take it. My period is fixed! H is so impressed he has finally agreed to visit and let them have a crack at his sperm issues. Now, let's see if this gets me KU! :::baby steps::: for baby :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Weighing the options...

I did it. Another consult at yet another clinic. We're back to the local scene this the place where we probably should have begun our journey but who knew?

All in all, we both left feeling pretty good. Although we always do.(Yes, H broke down and came to the consult.) REs have a way of making you feel so great about your next plan of action. It's when it's over and they tell you that you fell on the wrong side of the odds...AGAIN that you start to wonder why you cycled again.

This Dr. K is a positive guy. I was "warned" by several people just how positive he is. I guess I expected that it would feel a little hokey but we really had the opposite experience. Dr. K is very big on the words you use and visualization. He buys into all the mind/body connection stuff like acupuncture and Mayan massage and yoga and support groups. It's kind of cool and honestly, if we are going to go through this again, I am going to need a cheerleader by my side reminding me to stay positive. His staff is just as upbeat as he is and it had such a different feel than any other place we have been. I expected the medical part to be a bit basic but they are actually doing a lot of the same stuff that the big clinics in NYC are doing and he was very knowledgeable about the extensive testing and protocols littering our charts.

So, as far as the technical stuff goes, Dr. K had even more tricks up his sleeve than some of my other REs. Here's what:(I sound like Andy Co.hen)

1. He wants to do a combo lap/hysteroscopy to see if I might have endo and it's always good practice to check a "polyp prone ute" like mine, especially after taking such a long break. Everyone has always attributed my pelvic pain to Crohn's related stuff but endo should be ruled out. I was going to ask for this anyway because it should be done if we are going to spend loads of money on eggs.

2. About the eggs: he gave us a 10% shot with my own eggs (OE) and a 50% shot with donor eggs (DE). Not great odds either way, really.

3. He has H taking clomid and HCG shots to maximize sperm quality. H mentioned that he wanted to take HCG shots for dietary reasons (it's like the hot new diet fad) and I told him no. Now he is all excited about it and thinks he will get really lean again. I just hope he doesn't get bitchy becasue clomid made me evil.

He also suggested a few non traditional things:

1. Me going to the monthly support group. Apparently, women who attend support groups have a higher birth rate. Who knew? That would have been kind of hard for me at the other clincs since it is a 3 hour drive...each way!

2. Continue with Acupuncture and Chinese herbs.

3. Mayan abdominal massage

4. Think positive!

The surgery is set to happen in about 2 weeks or so. Once we get the results of the findings we will decide how to proceed. I am leaning towards DE, H is leaning toward using my eggs one more time. Mostly based on finacncial reasons. We have some issues with some investements right now and he is reluctant to spend a chunk of cash on anything. I could probably get a small portion of a cycle with my eggs covered by insurance and it would end up being pretty cheap since this place has the rep of being ultra affordable. It might buy us some time too, but at what cost to my body, mind and self esteem ? See why I'm confused?

I would love to hear what you all think. I have already reached out to a few of my friends who have been through it all and have made it to the other side and I have gotten such great advice but it doesn't hurt to get all the opinions you can :)

Thanks for reading my latest novel!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I may regret this....

I am afraid I am opening up a huge can of worms here but I have an IVF consult next week at a local clinic. Not the clinic I started with but another "new agey" type place. I considered consulting there about 2 years ago but H & I decided to head south to NYC instead. You know how that turned out. A whole lotta money and miles and nothing but M/Cs and negatives. I feel like I am taking 2 steps back but right now, this is within our price range. I won't lie: money has become a major factor. The amount we have spent in the past and the amount we are looking at going forward with DE has H crazy.

I am starting to get a little excited and it is making me really nervous. "Stomach upset" nervous. I have not cycled since November and this is probably the longest break we have taken. I can practically feel my 40 year old eggs spoiling as I type and I wonder if it is too late. It's not like I have a lot of time if we are going to go for a hail Mary cycle with my DNA one more time. I have definitely been procrastinating. I think I am just so ready to move on with someone else's eggs...except for the financial commitment, that is. I suspect that this new RE may not even recommend anything other than DE based on our history. We wouldn't use this clinic for DE so I am hoping he may want to take a shot at my eggs. I guess I'll find out next week.

My main goal this weekend is to convince H to come to the appt. with me. He feels like it will all end badly and I think he is protecting himself by distancing himself from this new clinic. I have gotten myself back into shape again and I'm feeling so good since I haven't been pumping fertility drugs into my system. He says that I am happier and more energetic than he has seen me in years. He also feels like if it's not NYC, it's not going to work. Part of me feels that way, too. Do we bother moving forward if our hearts aren't in it 100%? Let the over-thinking begin (again).

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tough days ahead.......

So, if you have any sense of compassion you might realize that Mother's Day is a little tough on IFers. Not only does it remind us that we might never get to celebrate this day as a mother but we also feel bad for feeling that way. Mother's Day is about celebrating our own mothers too and we get that. I always did pretty well on Mother's day. I could focus on celebrating my Mom and at the same time, live with the hope that I might be celebrated by my own child someday.

Until 2 years ago. Two years ago, I had a D&C a few days before Mother's day. My baby's heartbeat had stopped and with it my hopes of becoming a mother were crushed again. That was the worst Mother's day and I'm sorry to say I relive it every year. And every year that goes by that I am not pregnant,it hurts a little more. Time does not heal all wounds.

Motherhood feels so far away from me right now. My husband just doesn't feel the sense of urgency that I do. I am 40 and he is fine with waiting another 2 years to save money for DE so we don't have to dip into our savings. I would like to be done by the time I am 43. I wanted to be done by 40 but it's too late for that.

So, for another year, I'll cry in the aisle while I read the Mother's day cards and I'll stay away from FB. I'll celebrate my Mom and be thankful that I still have her around to celebrate with and I'll keep praying that next year will be different.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The brighter side of things

This is not a journey you want to take...this never ending cycle of hope and loss and despair and pain. It takes a toll on every area of your life....especially your personal relationships. You pull away from people...especially people who cannot be supportive. I have had lots of trouble with comments from my ILs lately but I am dealing.

Part of what gets me through the tough times is the support of my friends on The Bump. These strangers know what I am going through and they are there to listen to me whine and to offer support and hopefully, they can see that I am there for them as well. We share our knowledge and support each other through good and bad times. I have wonderful family and friends who try to understand but these courageous, strong,amazing women are walking in the same shoes as me. Many of them have even become dear friends.

I had the chance to meet a small group of our community yesterday and it was so great to connect in person. I have "known" some of these women for 3 + years and being able to give them real hugs instead of virtual ((((hugs))) was a privilege. It was a great day in spite of the fact that I ended up falling on my hands and knees...turtle style in the middle of Fashion Ave. in NYC. Thank goodness for good Samaritans like the lady and her daughter who didn't want to leave me and the man who rubbed my back.

I am thankful that there is a place for women like us and that we have each other. Hugs to all my friends and thank you for everything. I am honored to be trapped on IF island with such fantastic women. I hope we all get to leave very soon.

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